How They See You
A dear friend of mine has been going through a tough time lately.
I originally wrote this for her, and then I expanded it for you. I hope it's helpful somehow.
There are people who have chosen to see you in the worst possible light. They have misunderstood you, found the cracks in you, and picked you apart.
But Jesus has seen every flaw that you have with even more clarity; and still, Jesus loves you.
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There are people who have chosen to reject you. They have found you lacking, declared you not enough to keep them interested. They have hovered over you and watched you make stupid mistakes (mistakes they would never make), and they have criticized you for those. You have not been pretty enough, smart enough, funny enough, subtle enough, classy enough, educated enough, quiet enough, busy enough, cynical enough, strong enough.
But Jesus has known all along that you were not enough; and still, Jesus loves you.
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There are people who have chosen to use you. They have seen how you could benefit them by your gifts, your time, your body, your position, or by your flattery. They have cozied up to spend you until you had nothing left to give them, and then they have thrown you away like a gum wrapper.
But Jesus has seen your resourcefulness as an extension of His own gifts to you. He has given you all that you have, and He needs nothing from you. He never will need anything from you. And still, Jesus loves you.
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There are people who have been threatened by your strengths. They have let envy turn their hearts sour against you. They have tried to push you down before other men to medicate their own lack. When you have done well, they have felt the sick twist of jealousy. When others have praised you, they have desired to knock you down and expose you.
But Jesus has seen your strengths in light of what more He has to offer them. He has known how little the praise of men has meant to you. He has known how it is has never satisfied you. He has known that what you have really wanted was Him. This Jesus loves you.
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There are people who have deceived or disappointed you. They have made promises they haven't kept. They have preached ideals they haven't followed. They have told stories that they have not lived and proclaimed values they have not loved. They have made choices that wounded you to the core. They have not been who you needed them to be in your moment of weakness, and like a child falling from a swing, you have fallen from hope that their company would ever be a respite to you.
You have tried to ignore these disappointments, because you know you are a disappointment to others, too. You have wrestled against judgment to give grace, to hope, to turn a blind eye, to turn the other cheek. You have learned to carry no anger toward them.
But still, you are sad. Sad and lonely. And now you hide and flinch.
Here Jesus is faithful. Even when His love feels quiet, He is faithful.
He is not like you once had imagined Him, and in this, you have felt disappointed as well. He does not snap His fingers to tidy up a life. He does not leave flaming messages in the sky, or new cars in your driveway, or bills in your pocket, or babies in your womb. He hides Himself, and you think, "He is like the rest of them. He is gone."
But then you find Him again, and again, and again, and you see that though He is mysterious, He has never abandoned or forsaken you.
And lo, He is with you, even unto the end of the earth. Advocating for you to his Father. Bearing you up. Kissing your wounds. Hovering over your chaos.
He has loved you since before time began. He has made a plan for all things, which He works for your good. Even this. This is the Jesus who loves you.